Blog Link: NZ and the R2P applied.

datePosted on 10:08, August 17th, 2010 by Pablo

This is going to be my last comment about the NZDF in Afghanistan for a while. It concerns an overlooked aspect of why it is there. One aspect of this is that the R2P commitment was made by the 5th Labour government and National seems disinclined to continue it. Given that R2P does not have domestic or international legal authority since it is just a public commitment rather than  a convention, law or binding agreement, it will be interesting to see how National deals with this particular aspect of its foreign policy, and how MFAT (which committed NZ to the R2P doctrine), will react to any reneging on that commitment.

8 Responses to “Blog Link: NZ and the R2P applied.”

  1. DaveW on August 17th, 2010 at 20:42
  2. Pablo on August 17th, 2010 at 22:27

    Sorry for that. I have tried to reinsert the link but it appears to be broken at the other end. Hopefully you can use the redirected link to the Scoop main page.

  3. Dan on August 25th, 2010 at 00:14

    Having read the first few paragraphs of Buchanan’s speal on Scoop I truly wonder who he’s working for when writing such stuff.

    It has the hallmarks of divisive & deceptive American propaganda.

    If it’s true that NZ is bound to play a role in ‘world peace’ when a country is committing genocide then why the hell are we not sending our boys over to Palestine to protect them from the obvious genocide that’s being committed there by the theiving jews?

    What say you Paul?

    Who are you working for “mate”?

  4. Pablo on August 25th, 2010 at 01:30

    Dan:

    The UN has observers in both Gaza and the West Bank, and the NZDF has sent troops to serve as peacekeepers in the sinai and southern Lebanon. The reason the R2P has not been invoked for Gaza is twofold: neither the UN General Assembly or Security Council have passed any resolution authorising deployment of troops to Gaza for any reason, including R2P. That may be a structural flaw in the UN Charter given the disagreements of the parties on the Palestinian question and the veto power of the SC permanent members, but such is the status quo at the moment. The second reason why no foreign troops have been deployed in Gaza is that neither Hamas or Israel would agree to such a thing and in fact have explicitly rejected the presence on UN troops in Gaza for their own respective reasons. So it is not possible for NZ to unilaterally deploy NZDF personnel to Gaza even if it wanted to.

    Your comment about “theiving (sic) jews” demonstrates that you have issues beyond concern for the plight of Palestinians. I suggest that you try and keep your primordial hatreds in check as it undermines any legitimate argument you may have.

    As for who I work for–I am working for myself. Or did you not read the post about my starting a NZ based political risk consultancy?

  5. Dan on August 25th, 2010 at 01:54

    Thanks for your response & your info re: R2P. It’s the first I’ve heard of it. It’s a pretty flimsy argument that we’re in Afghanistan to honour a non-binding arrangement like that I gotta say.

    As for your article, of which I’ve read only about half so far, I find your style of writing almost offensive. You’re summarising what the “left” and the “right” supposedly think regarding NZ’s support for the war in afganistan. Most people here have no idea about that issue and to bundle them up into 2 camps is way over-simplification. It sounds like typical Yank propaganda to me.

    People I speak to about the war mostly don’t have an opinion on the topic. Some seem to think we’re there helping women etc as if it’s a humanitarian effort. People who know what they’re talking about across the board know that it’s a lost cause but we’re there for international PR & business reasons.

  6. Pablo on August 25th, 2010 at 02:15

    Dan:

    The concept of R2P has been championed by the likes of Canada, Sweden and NZ precisely so as to extend multilateral protection to vulnerable populations in a way that transcends individual national interest. The essay details this at some length so read through it entirely. Contrary to your assertion that R2P is a flimsy argument for entering a conflict, it is actually a very bold attempt to construct a new logic for military intervention that supercedes the old power driven realpolitik arguments of the past. It comes under the rubric of “human security,” which itself is a means of conceptualising security in ways that transcend the old realist precepts that focus primarilly on the balance of hard power between nation-states. R2P is a direct result of the expansion of the concept of “security” to include protections from internal displacement, discrimination and ethnic conflict regardless of state interest.

    My division of “Left” and “Right” camps is admittedly a generalisation but necessary due to space constraints in a non-scholarly op ed. My purpose was to simply illustrate the broad divisions of the informed public in that regard. I was not writing about the uninformed or ignorant views of the conflict.

    There are obviously a mix of motives in the ISAF contributor’s deployment of troops to Afghanistan, abover and beyond R2P. But do you really think that Turkey and Malaysia are members of ISAF because of business interests? Or Singapore? Do you really believe that justifications for staying in Afghanistan are reducible to “Yank propaganda?”

    I tend to agree that in its current approach the ISAF mission is a lost cause. But as I have written before at some length, that does not means that the entire venture need be abandoned. There is more at stake than American interests, hard as that may be for you to believe. It is those larger concerns that have informed the NZ decision to contribute to ISAF.

    I am sorry if my writing offends you. Thankfully the nice folk at Scoop (an outlet not known for its pro-American views) have seen fit to afford me the opportunity to contribute to their editorial space, perhaps because they understand that I am something other than a US apologist.

  7. Dan on August 25th, 2010 at 02:31

    Turkey is a regional player and has all sorts of strategic interests. Singapore is a good example. Like NZ, they have no direct interest in Afghanistan’s stability. This is where real politik comes into the picture and where yours & my opinions differ I think. Since the launch of the phony “global war on terror” the world has seen an acceleration of real politik IMO and so long as America is spending over half a million per year on “defense” this trend looks set to continue.

    The UN is cited when it’s convenient and ignored when it’s not by the likes of USA and their best friend in the region, Israel. The hypocrisy is far too much for me. Thanks again for sharing your insights though. And your patience. : )

  8. Dan on August 25th, 2010 at 02:48

    Okay, sorry if I’m hijacking your thread here but I’ve now read the rest of your article and have further responses. Feel free to remove any comments of mine you want.

    This part of your article is precisely what I’ve emailed out minister of defense about, and not gotten a response:

    The issue is broader. The Taliban are a coalition of irregular armed non-state actors whose objective is to overthrow the elected central government in order to impose a medieval social order and political dictatorship in Afghanistan that provides safe haven to, and logistical support for, violent ideological extremists seeking to launch terrorist attacks abroad.

    This argument is deeply flawed. The 2 main reasons (ignoring the election process entirely) are:
    1. The ‘Northern Alliance’ forces which (according to you and others) were ‘elected’ to govern Afghanistan are just as brutal as the Taliban where. They’ve successfully set up a narco-state in the years following a Taliban fatwa against the harvesting of poppy. Afghanistan produces around 90% of the world’s opium and is even now manufacturing and exporting heroin.
    2. We’re occupying a country which has never attacked us or our allies. The Taliban regime was never a threat to New Zealand or USA. If you have evidence to the contrary I’d like to hear it. The 9/11 tragedy has never been through any kind of court of law. There was overwhelming propaganda coming out of the USA telling the world something about a certain that Bin Laden guy but the FBI has no evidence that Bin Laden was behind 9/11. In fact nothing about 9/11 has ever been proven in a court of law. This whole ‘war on terror’ crap is an excuse to move American military might near the dwinling supplies of hydrocarbon energy IMO. The attack on Afghanistan was authorised before September 11 2001.

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